Falafel is something I have had a troubled relationship with. For years I wanted to like it, I just couldn’t! Everything was ether too bland or too spicy or too mushy or just not right! However, with this recipe I really feel like I’ve cracked it. And I feel that the key is to really amp up the spices. Not too much chili, but spices, the cumin and coriander, and a good dash of salt and pepper, are what are going to make your falafel sing!
It helps if you think of your falafel as portable hummous. Just as a bland humous is nobody’s friend, so too for falafel so even if you look at these quantities and think I’m crazy, remember, chickpeas are delicious but only with the proper accessories!
The wonderful thing about this falafel recipe is that it healthy and simple. You basically put everything in a food processor and blitz it up! Simple! And to keep the calorie count down on these falafel I oven bake them rather than frying them. Would frying them make them tastier… well, yeah, probably! But I can’t afford those calories so oven baking it is! That’s why we amp up the spices, what you lose in fat you can make up in flavour!
Makes ~15 falafel balls
2 x 400g tins of chick peas, drained and rinsed
2 LARGE cloves of garlic, peeled
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp fresh coriander
2 tbsp plain flour
~ 2 tbsp water if necessary
– Heat the oven to gas mark 6/200C.
– Put everything except the water in the food processor.
– Blitz, scrape down the bowl, blitz again. You want to keep blitzing until you have about half coarse mix, half smooth paste in there. You don’t want to keep going until you get hummous!
– If it’s just not coming together into a paste at all then you might just need a little extra moisture to bind it so gradually add a little water at a time until it just comes together. You don’t want to add too much or you get a soft, sticky falafel!
– Using your hands (or if you’re weird about these things feel free to use spoons/a small ice cream scoop) grab a ping pong ball sized amount of mixture and gently shape it into a nice round ball.
– Place on a very lightly greased baking tray (a quick spray with olive oil will do) and repeat until your mixture is all gone.
– Give all of your falafel a light spritz with an olive oil spray.
– Place in the top of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The falafel should just be turning brown in places and should be crisp to the touch.
– Serve with salad, pita and haydari… or whatever else takes your fancy!